Are U.S. Consumers Tolerant of GM Foods?

Date
2002-10-15
Authors
Rousu, Matthew
Huffman, Wallace
Shogren, Jason
Tegene, Abebayehu
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Economics
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Abstract

Genetically modified (GM) foods have caused many controversies. One important controversy relates to tolerance—the impurity rate that is tolerated before a commodity must be labeled as genetically modified. Currently, the United States does not have a specific tolerance or threshold level for GM foods. This paper uses experimental auctions to determine consumers’ acceptance of non-GM foods with zero, 1 percent, and 5 percent tolerance for genetically modified material. Our results indicate that consumers would pay less for food that tolerates GM material, but the discount is not significantly different for foods with 1-percent and 5-percent GM content.

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genetically modified (GM) foods, contamination thresholds, laboratory auctions, nth-price auction, vegetable oil, tortilla chips, russet potatoes
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